Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Sydney Insiders Blog


a large brick building with a tower in the background

Barrenjoey Lighthouse sits majestically on Sydney’s most northern point – Barrenjoey Head at Palm Beach. Positioned 91m above sea level, the lighthouse can be reached by a couple of walks and offers breathtaking views. It’s an easy day trip from Sydney and a great place to bring overseas visitors – they may recognise the lighthouse from Home and Away and will find Summer Bay Surf Club nearby.

The lighthouse is one of the most iconic sights on Sydney’s northern beaches and boasts a notable cultural heritage. Built in 1881 from sandstone quarried on site, the lighthouse, its oil room and keepers’ cottages remain unpainted in the original stone finish. Beware visiting in bad weather. The original lighthouse keeper died after being struck by lightning!

To get there, take an easy and picturesque walk along Barrenjoey track for 1km. The walk to the top requires moderate fitness and will take about 30 minutes each way from Governor Phillip parking area. You could choose to walk Smugglers track instead for a more challenging hike to the top. The name comes from customs officers who built the track to monitor smugglers bringing contraband into Broken Bay around 1850. Smugglers track offers a steeper and shorter trek up to the lighthouse, but it’s well worth the effort.

The extraordinary views of Palm Beach to the left, and Broken Bay to the right, is the most photographed viewpoint of the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk. There is a rock platform just off to the side, about halfway up Smugglers Track, which is the perfect place for this view.

Be sure to bring your binoculars for whale watching between the months of May and September. Or settle for capturing the panoramic views of Broken Bay, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and the Central Coast with your camera. Public facilities and water are available at the top.

IMAGE CREDIT: Donovan Callaghan


a group of people on a beach near a body of water